With school starting many kids get a little apprehensive about being alone at school. They worry that no one will like them or want to be a working partner with them in class. There are a number of things that you can do to help squash the fears of your youngsters as school starts.
Tip One: It's the First Day of School for Everyone
Everyone has jitters on the first day and during the first week or so of school. Let your child know that everyone in the class is going to have the same fears as your child. Everyone is worried they won't have friends or that they will be the last one picked as a partner.
Tip Two: Encourage them to be Themselves
While everyone wants to fit in, it is important that your child knows the best way to make friends is to be themselves. Let them know that it is okay to pick up a new "like" such as if their new friend likes the Jonas Brothers, it is natural for them to have an interest in the Jonas Brothers, but they don't want to go out and buy everything that their new friend has.
Tip Three: Encourage them to Speak Up
It is never okay for one child to make another child feel like they are less important than someone else. That is true for adults as well; we are all equally incredible in our own ways. If your child is being bullied by someone at school tell your child how important it is that they let their teacher know. They also need to let you know. We had an incident with our son being bullied on the bus. He would complain to the bus driver and the bus driver would just tell him to sit down. We called the principal of the school and transportation to complain. The other child tried to say it was the other way around. THANKFULLY, the bus had video on it and we requested that the video be pulled so it could be viewed and it showed what was happening.
It is sad and scary how frequent bullying happens. If your child is acting like they don't want to go to school or get on the bus, or they come home with bruises or missing items, talk to them and find out what is going on.
Tip Four: Don't Embarrass Them
As much as it kills you (as it does me) don't kiss them goodbye in front everyone if they don't lean towards you first. Our son is such a momma's boy… unless there are others around. Actually it was last school year that he even stopped saying "I love you," if anyone was in ear shot. It broke my heart, but at the same time it was a growth moment. He still hugs and kisses me at home and tells me he loves me, so the world is still okay.
Tip Five: Teach them the Importance of a Smile
Chances are pretty good that on the first day of school there are other shy kids that are afraid to be the first to talk to anyone. So tell your child if there is another child that they want to talk to they should smile at them and say hello. It is amazing the impact of a simple smile and the small phrase, "Hi."
Tip Six: Talk to their Friends Parents
If your child has a best bud, take a moment and talk to the parents of that best bud. Find out what class their child is going into, what bus they are riding, if they plan on having their child buy lunch or pack. These things can help make it so that your child is able to spend some time with someone familiar the first few days of school.
Tip Seven: Ask About Their Day
Be excited about their school day. Ask how their day was and then listen to what they tell you. I should note that you need to actively listen. Show them that you are interested in what happened at school so they know that you are really excited about what excited them.